CCF/FCMA congratulates Ione Thorkelsson, winner of the 2010 Saidye
Bronfman Award for Excellence in Fine Craft, one of eight Governor
General’s Visual Arts Awards.
Ione Thorkelsson began her career studying architecture at the
University of Manitoba then changed direction to pursue a fascination
with glass. In 1973, she learned the blown glass technique, built her
own studio and began creating vases, perfume bottles and other vessels.
Largely self-taught, her only formal training in glass was a course she
took in 1979 at Sheridan College. In 1983, she began exploring the cast
glass technique, drawing on the natural world (birds, insects, bones)
for subjects. Her works have been exhibited across Canada, the United
States, Europe and in Hong Kong, and can be found in the collections of
the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Ms. Thorkelsson lives in Roseisle, Manitoba.
was presented with her award, which includes a $25,000 prize and a
piece of work by Tony Urquhart, winner of a 2009 Governor General’s
Award in Visual and Media Arts. a former Governor General Award Winner,
at Rideau Hall on Wednesday, March 31st.
The CCF/FCMA took part in these celebrations, honouring Thorkelsson’s work and representing
craftspeople across Canada. Gilles Latour, board member and Ontario
Craft Council representative on the CCF/FCMA board of directors
attended the ceremonies and met with her Excellency the
Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada.
celebration of Thorkelsson’s win did not end in Ottawa – her local
community attended a special reception in her honour on April 11, 2010
at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The gallery, the Manitoba Arts Council and
the Manitoba Crafts Council have all expressed their pride in this
To see more of Thorkelsson’s work and
a detailed description of her process, including online video
interviews, visit the Canada Council for the Arts website of award